Manu Gandas exploiting the perfect golf conditions at the Coimbatore Golf Club signed in a third successive under-par card to stay as the leader in the Tata Steel Tamil Nadu Amateur here on Thursday.
Manu added a 6-under 66 to his overnight score of 6-under for an overall total of 12-under 204 after three rounds which gave him a five-shot lead over his nearest rival Syed Saqib Ahmed who submitted a card of 69 on Thursday.
Aman Raj was lying third at 212 while Simarjeet Singh and Ainesh Ahliwali were tied for the fourth place at 214. Karan Taunk was sixth at 217 while Udayan Mane was seventh at 218.
Gurgaon lad Manu began on a steady note with three consecutive pars.
However, in a dream run, the soft-spoken youngster caught fire making seven birdies in a row beginning from the fourth and was 7-under for the day after 11 holes.
Continuing in the same fashion, he added one more birdie on the par-4 15th to be 8-under for the day.
A bogey on the 16th was nullified by a birdie on the penultimate hole.
Then came the biggest mistake of the day when Manu double bogeyed the finishing hole, else he could have led by seven shots.
"It was actually a dream come true. Everything seemed perfect for me as I sank those putts," said Manu on his birdie blitz.
"I was not thinking of creating any records but was just playing my natural game. My hitting and putting was excellent," he said.
"I am hoping to maintain my form and eventually capture the title," said the leader.
Top scores (after 54 holes)
204 Manu Gandas (71, 67, 66);
209 Syed Saqib Ahmed (69, 71, 69);
212 Aman Raj (70, 72, 70);
214 Simarjeet Singh (71, 73, 70), Ainesh Ahluwalia (69, 72, 73);
217 Karan Taunk (73, 74, 70);
218 Udayan Mane (66, 78, 74);
220 Arjun Sharma (74, 72, 74), Viraj Madappa (77, 69,74), Ankur Chadha (73, 71, 76);
221 Samarth Dwivedi (76, 72, 73), IL Aalaap (71, 75,75)